Tight End Targets (Tier 1)
Tight ends have been maddeningly inconsistent this season. So much depends on consistent targets, but even more depends on getting that ball over the goal line securely. With very few tight ends getting into the end zone Gronk-style, we are stuck with the hope that they will get enough yards and receptions in PPR, to keep us from a minefield of goose eggs. Jason Witten has been able to consistently help us out in PPR leagues, but his lack of touchdowns have hurt in standard leagues. And then last week he dips down to four targets like some run-of-the-mill Anthony Fasano! But from his body of work this season I think we can safely say those numbers will increase this week, and hopefully he can sneak into the end zone!
To examine for you the state of the tight end, just take a look at Tony Scheffler and Brandon Pettigrew. Both are in the top-five for targets over the last four weeks and they are on the same team and Pettigrew was hurt last week and put up a nasty nil. There just aren’t many stud tight ends out there that are commanding consistent targets. The Lions have lost many of their wide receivers and since they throw the ball 45.5 times a game, it has to go somewhere. If Pettigrew can’t play in Arizona this weekend, Calvin Johnson and Tony Scheffler may see the ball a whole lot.
Brandon Myers let us down in a big way last week, but he’s actually seen so much work and produced enough in conjunction with that work, that he’s still one of the safer tight ends in the league. That’s not saying all that much, but that’s what I’m saying.
Jimmy Graham doesn’t look quite right to me, but neither has Drew Brees since Graham came back from his ankle sprain. He’s getting enough targets and he’s in an offense that can turn it on at any time, that you just play him and go about your business.
In a tight end world of inconsistency lives one man, a man with many tattoos and incoherent touchdown dances, a man called Aaron Hernandez. Now that Hernandez is back, we have a glimmer of hope in this cruel world where Vernon Davis and Antonio Gates live outside the top-12 in fantasy points even though they’ve been healthy all season. Hernandez is getting his targets, looks healthy, just put up a big game and doesn’t have as much target competition on his team anymore. He’s my number one tight end the rest of the short way.
Tight End Targets (Tier 2)
And the list of the inconsistent grows deeper. When I look at this second list I have to go to the ‘what have you done for me lately’ file and there’s just one player under the alias, The Black Unicorn. When he’s not saving people from certain death, he’s giving his teams fantasy points, which most teams have forgotten they are allowed at the TE position. Martellus Bennett is second in fantasy points per game over the last four games and with Hakeem Nicks not 100%, he should continue to see looks, especially in the red zone.
Antonio Gates has actually seen 16 targets over the last two weeks. They haven’t produced much in the way of fantasy points, but at least he’s getting targets. Gates, Bennett and Hernandez are the most consistent targeteers over that short span.
Ben Watson has shown flashes of talent off and on over his whole career, so this last bit of production from him is suspect, but it is production. He’s averaging four receptions a game over the last four games and had a two touchdown game against Dallas. I just got bored typing that.